Encounter forum for „Humboldtians“ at FAU

Logo Deutsche Gesellschaft der Humboldtianer e.V.
Image: German Society of Humboldtians e.V.

Regional group Franconia of the German Society of Humboldtians e.V. was founded

FAU is one of the largest research universities in Germany with excellent research achievements and a corresponding international orientation in research and teaching. It is therefore natural for researchers of FAU to go abroad and for international researchers to come to FAU to enrich and to further strengthen the research power of FAU.

While doing so, the scientists are supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, among others. In order to promote personal contact between the “Humboldtians” beyond the fellowship phase, the work of the AvH is supported by the German Society of Humboldtians (DGH). Regional groups are a vital part of the DGH. In order to offer the “Humboldtians” in the Franconian region a forum of encounter, the Regional Group Franconia of the DGH was founded at FAU in October 2019.

We talked to Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Schwieger, who is speaker of the regional group Franconia together with Prof. Dr. Robert Schober, about the founding and the group itself.

Prof. Dr. Schwieger
Prof. Dr. Schwieger introduces the newly founded regional group Franconia at the Welcome Event 2019 for international researchers at FAU. (Image: FAU/Giulia Iannicelli)

Prof. Dr. Schwieger, in October 2019, the regional group Franconia of the German Society of Humboldtians e.V. was founded at FAU. How did it come to be founded?

The activity to found the regional group came from my colleague and board member of the German Society of Humboldtians e.V., Prof. Dr. Koepf from the University of Kassel, who asked the members of the region whether we would act as the nucleus of a regional group. Here in Northern Bavaria the society was not yet organized, although there were individual members. After several talks it quickly became clear that the universities of the region had an interest to support such an activity. Here in Erlangen, it was in particularly Prof. Dr. Paulsen, who, in his function as Vice President People, together with his staff, supported us actively.

Do any other universities participate in the regional group besides FAU?

The regional group also includes the Universities of Bamberg and Würzburg.

Who is the regional group aimed at?

With the Regional Group, the Society wants to offer a forum of encounter for all members of the “Humboldt Family” here in Franconia. The „Humboldt Family“ consists of all researchers, who have been supported by the AvH and also, of course, of the hosts and the members of the selection committees.

What are the aims and tasks of the regional group?

With the regional group, we would like to offer a platform for personal contact between the alumni of the AvH as well as with and between the active, mainly foreign scholarship holders on site. It is the declared objective to intensify the exchange among one another, to offer assistance even with everyday things and to be available as contact person when it comes to integrate international and to reintegrate German Humboldtians.

Prof. Dr. Schober
In 2012, Prof. Dr. Schober was awarded the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Professorship. (Image: FAU/David Ausserhofer)


You and Prof. Dr. Schober are the speakers of the regional group. What are your tasks as speakers and what wishes or hopes do you have for the future?

Of course, the first tasks will be to create the organisational requirements to capture and to contact all potential Humboldtians at the different institutions and then to encourage them to participate. In doing so, we are, of course, dependent on good cooperation with the universities on the one hand and the AvH on the other. In a sense, we see ourselves as a link between the universities, where the researchers, embedded in the respective organizational units, work, and the AvH, the funding agency. Humboldt stands for internationality, personal experience, exchange between the disciplines, holistic science. If we succeed in establishing this spirit within the local „Humboldt Family“ and if we succeed in acting in the truest sense of the word „family“ – both academic and private – then this would be a nice success and, as I think, an enrichment of the academic life at our FAU.

Thank you for the interview, Prof. Dr. Schwieger.

You have questions regarding the regional group or would like to become a member? More information can be found on the homepage of the German Society of Humboldtians e.V. as well as of the regional group Franconia (information in German).

Prof. Dr. Schwieger and Prof. Dr. Schober are also available for questions:

Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Schwieger, wilhelm.schwieger@fau.de

Prof. Dr. Robert Schober, robert.schober@fau.de